Friday, 11 March 2016

Understanding the World Around Us

Today we used the medium of current events to begin to consider critical thinking in our classrooms. I focused my thought process on Maria Sharapova's announcement this week in regard to drug taking at the Australian Open. 

Please click the links in Slide 2 to see various perspectives about the case.

By having a focus point of one article, this enabled me to consider how the current inquiry into Sharapova's case can be included in the classroom. One short article and video clip includes many perspectives and tangents to discuss within the classroom, and can be included in many subjects...

I could include discussion in Health with reference to Hauora and wellbeing. Students could create skits, slides, drawings, to demonstrate how the wellbeing of Sharapova could be effected right now. 

Discussions with reference to family, personal and community values could be included in Social Studies. 

English classes may review the many articles/opinion pieces/interviews about Sharapova to write persuasive essays or speeches. 

Science students could discuss the drug itself or the impacts of the drug on the body short term and long term.

Of most interest to me is the relevance to sport and how the current dilemma/debate/issue/event in regard to Sharapova's case can be included in the PE curriculum. There are many standards related to issues in sport and the impact media has on sport for example.

I think the inclusion of current events in our classes is an approach that can effectively encourage critical thinking, as well as hook the learners. As current events are forever changing, so can the content in our classes, continually engaging the learners. However, this is only true if our content is relevant to the learners, their backgrounds and interests. 

When things are relevant to our lives, we want to learn more about them, therefore are more engaged in the teaching and learning. Listed here are simple steps for student engagement, with reference to research too.


  1. I love the cross-curricular approach you have presented here Georgia. You are so right about all the angles this particular current event could be viewed from. I look forward to seeing where you take this in your plan and teaching.

  2. Thanks Dorothy! I have been discussing with English teachers specifically this week how we can work together to improve literacy in PE, and we want to start marking and analysing PE assessments together. Hence cross-curricular planning/evaluating is on my mind. Critical thinking is prevalent across all subject areas too, which is why I thought it was important to consider how current events can be utilised/manipulated to suit many units and teaching points.

  3. It is great to see how you have considered all the various curriculum areas and how they can connect to your current event! Great to hear that you have been collaborating with other teachers - it sounds like you are putting a lot of thought into how you can implement new ideas into your class and school :) Great to have a secondary teacher on the team who can give us an insight into learning in the senior years! Steph

    1. Thanks Steph! I think it is important to consider what the students are learning in all areas at school, so that there is a consistency. My biggest concern at secondary is that teachers do not teach/manage/construct learning in the same way, or provide opportunities for students to transfer their knowledge throughout subjects, hence the importance to complete cross-curricular work.


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